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Yomiuri Giants: Hara spends quality time with the youngsters

by on Oct.11, 2010 @ 10:05 pm, under NPB

Tatsunori Hara spent time working closely with Hisayoshi Chono, Hayato Sakamoto, and Ryota Wakiya during practice today at Giants Stadium.  Hara spent about 30 minutes tossing BP to Wakiya while giving him advice on everything from bunting to his batting stance.  After that, he hit baseballs to Chono, Sakamoto, and Wakiya in the outfield.

Some more details from Sanspo (10/12): seems Hara spent about 50 minutes working with Chono behind closed doors (hitting instruction).  He then had Sakamoto and Wakiya join in and spent another hour and a half working with all three players.  After full squad practice, Hara had the same three players stay after to flag down fly balls between left and right field (they each had to handle 6 fly balls).

In other team news:

It seems the Yomiuri Giants will be using a combination of Marc Kroon, Tetsuya Yamaguchi, Daisuke Ochi, and Yuya Kubo to close out games during the Climax Series.  In others words, the Giants won't live and die with Kroon as closer -- if he isn't pitching well, they'll quickly replace him with one of the other three and go from there.

Kroon's stock as a closer has been in gradual decline over the course of the current season.  And while it appeared as though he might be coming out of his funk in September (10 G, 1.64 ERA, 11 IP, 18 SO, 0.91 WHIP), things sort of blew up for him in October (3 G, 13.50 ERA, 2 IP, 4 SO, 3.50 WHIP).

Incidentally, Kroon told reporters that he wanted to continue playing next year, be it with the Giants, or with another team (although his first choice would be to return to Yomiouri).